The Laguna Beach Pateadores, a soccer team of girls under 13, won their age division championship with a 1-0 win over the Westside Breakers of Los Angeles in the Cal South State Cup tournament, which wrapped up Sunday, Feb. 25, in Temecula.
The Pateadores, a Spanish slang term for kickers, lived up to their name with three stand-out achievements by a team organized only 18 months ago.
Leading up to the championship win, the team competed in the 116-team Cal South tournament over three weekends, playing nine games, including a semi-final decided in a second overtime period.
The team earlier earned championship status at the Orange County Tournament of Champions in December and during its regular fall season.
“What sets this team apart: Incredible emotional strength, mental and physical toughness, drive, spirit, work ethic, outstanding coaching, and a wonderful support network of family and friends,” said Chris Boyd, a parent and team manager and self-described cheerleader.
Team members include Po Andringa (11), Natalie Boyd (6), Macy Draper (33), Sydney Ford (7), Julianna Franconi-Krychma (20), Lauren Gardilcic (42), Grace Gilchrist (17), Lola Harris (10), Lauren Martin (12), Lindsay Martin (13), Alice Mitska (2), Cadence Peery (4), Molly Riehle (1), Brook Shaw (3), Julie Van Der Baan (9) and Mara Willams (27).
The players rose through the ranks of Laguna Beach’s AYSO Program in Region 86 and were invited to play for the club due to their skill, drive and potential, Boyd said.
Earl Alexander and Enich Harris coach the winning squad. “The team really couldn’t have done this without Earl and Enich’s leadership, ability to teach the required skills, impart field awareness and knowledge of the game, and support the girls,” according to Boyd.
The parents, families and friends also contribute to the team’s success by regularly traveling to support the girls at every game and tournament, no matter the distance or weather.
The Pateadore organization, established in 1989 and based in Costa Mesa, consists of 11 chapters in towns across Southern California and New Mexico. The club has ties to AS Roma, a professional football club in Rome, Italy. The Laguna Beach chapter includes 13 teams of varying ages led by Andy Thomas, who established the club in 2016 with his brother, Mike, both professional coaches.
Andy Thomas previously coached the boys soccer team at Laguna Beach High School. Mike Thomas teaches at Anneliese’s Schools.